Devin: What do you see as your superpower?
Andrew: It's a little bit of a shoot first, ask questions later kind of thing.
“There are all these communities around the US that feel like they don't have economic development options, feel like there's resource scarcity, are lacking these things, or losing these stores both in urban areas and rural areas,” says Andrew Connor, founder and director of The Center for Community Ownership.
His observation about the need motivated Andrew to take action in support of local investing, including crowdfunding. “I started the Center for Community Ownership because a lot of communities don't know that this is an option. They lose a grocery store, and they don't know that they have any option other than to go try to find some chain store to come to town or wait for the dollar store to come to town or something like that.”
“Part of what we do is try to spread awareness and do education about the fact that community ownership is a viable option,” he says.
Andrew Connor founded the Center for Community Ownership to support local investment and entrepreneurism.
The center educates communities about community ownership models and provides technical support.
Andrew also founded the Local Investing Action network (LIA) to support local businesses raising capital.
Andrew founded Crowdfund Montana, a platform for investment crowdfunding in Montana.
Andrew highlights the challenges rural communities face in raising capital.
Crowdfund Montana has helped companies like Pink Bench Distilling achieve success in rural Montana.
Andrew founded CCO and LIA.
He stresses the importance of taking action to make tangible change in community development.
Andrew emphasizes the importance of creating a network of like-minded individuals to achieve shared goals.
Listeners are encouraged to visit the CCO and LIAN websites for more information.
How to Develop A Bias to Act As a Superpower
Throughout his career, Andrew has developed a bias to act as a superpower. Recognizing that a “shoot first, ask questions later,” attitude can be a weakness as well as a strength, he highlights some of his accomplishments as evidence of the benefits.
Andrew recently launched the Local Investing Action network, LIA, to help community leaders around the country form local investing groups.
Andrew is excited about the progress of the LIA network. The group is focused on community investment and has already made connections and laid the foundation for concrete projects. Although the group is set to last for a year, Andrew feels that it may continue beyond that.
The projects that the group is working on include community investment funds, local investment groups, education and cultural change resources, and specific community investment projects. Andrew feels that even if only a fraction of these projects are successful, it will be a worthwhile venture. He believes that the success of the LIA group came from a willingness to try something new and the power of collaboration.
Andrew, who acts largely as a coach in the LIA network, offers a tip for developing your bias to act.
“We fail to appreciate the costs we incur by not taking action,” he says. It is easier sometimes to imagine the costs of acting, but harder to see the costs of the status quo.
“Sometimes you can measure those [costs] in really specific ways in terms of opportunity costs or money lost or things that didn't happen,” he says. You can add those up. More importantly, the emotional toll of being in that plateaued or stagnated place sometimes could be greater than sort of ripping the band-aid off—trying it and failing.”
You can increase your bias to act by following Andrew’s advice and example, potentially making it a superpower that enables you to do more good in the world.
Mona DeFrawi, CEO and founder of Radivision, a streaming channel for investors and entrepreneurs, especially those engaging in crowdfunding, has launched a newsletter. We’re sharing the first issue with you below and invite you to consider subscribing.